Borders bankruptcy bad for consumers?
The move gives Borders room to breathe and cut its debt, but unless the company can regroup in a hurry, it may never regain prominence. And any time a big competitor drops out of an industry, consumer choice is cut -- which is usually bad. Today, though, the loss of Borders and its stores will have less impact because digital books have become so popular. Borders wasn't a huge player online, and pricing competition has been driven by retailers such as Amazon and Walmart. As more and more folks buy e-readers, that market will increase rapidly, and Borders will be missed less and less.
Sales at Borders declined by double-digit percentage rates in 2008, 2009 and in each quarter in 2010 it has reported, according to Reuters. Borders, which has 6,100 full time staff, operates 508 namesake superstores as well as a chain of smaller Waldenbooks stores. No word yet on the fate of Baltimore-area stores; I'll keep you posted as the details trickle out.